5 comments on “Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and his Confusion about Words

  1. Tyson, we get that “being an atheist” would be damaging to your career. I mean, in some respect I get that you have to lie to protect your livelihood. But every time you do, you also act as if being an atheist were something actually bad, and you throw the rest of us under your bus.
    You, Neil deGrasse Tyson, are an atheist. And you will be until you pick a god to start believing in. Whether or not you LIKE a label doesn’t change whether or not it APPLIES to you. And the rest of us could really use your help.

  2. “Many public atheists (Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris) say a lot of really terrible things…”

    For example? An explanation of what you mean by “really terrible” would also be helpful.

  3. Three quick examples spring to mind:

    Saying dumb things about Philosophy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9H2bxHIBfg (pulled from http://brilyn.net/science-vs-philosophy/)

    Saying dumb things about feminism: http://www.redlightpolitics.info/post/7263060171/dear-muslima-stop-whining-will-you-yes-yes-i

    Saying dumb things about paedophilia: http://www.religionnews.com/2013/09/09/richard-dawkins-under-fire-for-mild-pedophilia-remarks/

    I’d suggest googling these things if you want to know more, these are largely old news in the skeptic/atheist communities.

  4. I believe Dr. Tyson is merely trying to redirect focus to the evidence and the knowledge that we do have. Anti-theistic debate would seem to be quite boring for a world-famous astrophysicist, and would be a terrible misuse of his time. (Also, David Silverman is already doing an excellent job at that.) I believe he feels that it is his duty to share scientific findings with the world so that they might come to their own enlightened conclusions. As he himself tweeted, “The truth can never be biased.”

  5. To do that would require to do nothing more than not-talking about atheism, and why he doesn’t self-label that way (given that he never adequately addressed that in an interview intended to do so).

    No-one requires him to take an anti-theistic stance. I don’t require him to take any stance at all. The whole interview could simply have been “I’d prefer not to discuss my opinion on that topic” and we’re done, rather than “I’m not an atheist. Look, atheists are assholes, I’m not like them. No, don’t presume that I think atheists are assholes!”

    (And David Silverman isn’t doing an excellent job at anything, frankly, but that’s a rant for another time)

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